I play a lot of games on my phone. I know they’re a waste, and that my time would be better spent doing literally anything else, but they’re brightly colored, and they spare me from having to interact with the world.
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to channel my addiction into something more beneficial. I knew I wouldn’t be able to give up the games cold turkey, so I downloaded a Chess app. I figured, if I spent as much time playing it as I did playing First Touch Soccer 2014, I’d be a grandmaster by Spring.
My first few games were fast and ugly. Even with the difficulty on the lowest setting, the computer beat me every time. (Possibly a result of my chosen “lead with the queen” strategy.) After my 5th loss in a row, this ad popped up:
As if to say, “Here’s a game that’s a bit more your speed.”
The marketers of this checkers app went back to basics. They focused on what’s been checkers’s target demographic for over a thousand years: people who lack the attention span, or the cognitive ability to play chess.
Checkers’s insultingly accurate target marketing worked on me. I downloaded it, and I’ve been a lot less frustrated. One thing’s been haunting me, though: what happens if I lose 5 games in a row? What company targets the people who are out of their depth playing checkers? I’m giving every game my all, and hoping I never find out.